Top 10 Most Hated Over Hyped Video Games Of All Time
The lead-up to release and ongoing reception to No Man’s Sky teaches us a fair bit about just how the industry, hype, and general attitudes towards anything we’re looking forward to can pan out. (Although No Man’s Sky Looks Great and most importantly its an awesome game! review will be dropping soon)
And it’s when that reality sets in, that it always goes sour. Always. Can you think of any game that actually lived up to the hype, and didn’t have people whining and complaining?
10. No Man’s Sky (My Opinion So Far: MASTERPIECE)
Stemming from years of what can only really be described as ‘mis-marketing’ on Sony’s part, No Man’s Sky comes from a team of 13 people with one pretty unique idea: They just wanted to build a galaxy using mathematical formulae.
Not that you’d know, because thanks to Sony putting their full marketing power behind it and showing No Man’s Sky off to as wide an audience as possible, expectations for the game turned this vision into something completely unattainable.
In striving to keep the project fairly vague with the focus on “See for yourself!” exploration at launch, the insatiable need for consumers to understand what you can do ended up pigeonholing No Man’s Sky’s appeal into team-based multiplayer components that were never advertised, an action focus that was never there, and a game with “infinite possibilities” that was only ever in reference to the environments.
With a certain level of exposure comes great expectation, and as the vast majority of players didn’t keep an eye on the gameplay footage that did come out, it’s resulted in something of a backlash where people are still screaming, “So there’s no multiplayer?!
9. Grand Theft Auto IV (Personally One Of My Favourite Games Of All Time)
Few franchises have such a vice grip on the world as Rockstar’s crime-concocting caper, yet following the release of GTA’s III, Vice City and San Andreas, part four needed to be a perfect continuation to avoid drawing any ire whatsoever.
And that… wasn’t what Rockstar had in mind. Instead, they wanted to be more Michael Mann than Michael Bay, changing the feel of GTA into a way more serious beast. Naturally, this would’ve worked if fans knew what they were getting themselves into, but with a solid year of hype, expectation, and Rockstar’s proven track record, things weren’t just blown out of proportion – they were thermo-nuclear detonated into oblivion.
The result is a GTA that everyone dog-piles on for ‘bad car handling’, a relatively boring protagonist, flat colour schemes and none of the ‘wackiness’ we’d come to expect. So that’s why Rockstar don’t show anything off in advance anymore…
8. Watch Dogs
There’s something about wasted potential in a product that just boils our collective blood (and I should know, I saw Batman V Superman). With Watch Dogs though, it was potential we had no reference point for.
The ‘next generation’ of hardware had only been available for a few furtive months, and with a bevy of slightly shinier ports filling out our shelves, for all intents and purposes it was Watch Dogs that was going to be the ‘real’ start of this hardware cycle.
Hell, Ubisoft even said “The next generation starts here” in the run-up to release. At launch though, people hated Watch Dogs with a burning passion, despite it being a totally fine, third-person open-world action game.
Yes, it ‘should’ have been more, but there was no denying it; unless Watch Dogs was on the level of a GTA III, a Last of Us or a Red Dead (a calibre of game Ubisoft are yet to release), people already had their fingers poised on the trigger before it left the gate
7. The Division
Speaking of Ubisoft being yet to release a truly monumental game-changer of a title, The Division certainly came close. In framing itself as a somewhat post-apocalyptic tale of evacuated New York, Ubi were touting the ability to let everyone join one seamless world, no matter if you were on console, mobile or tablet.
Graphics were gorgeous, gameplay tight and precise – even the environments looked photo-real, and could be affected accordingly as bullets and explosives came into contact.
Then came the slow reveal that it was actually far less a shooter, and way more an item and loot-grind. Ubisoft were building their answer to Destiny, and that meant bullet-sponge enemies, reruns of the same missions over and over, and the barest feeling of accomplishment for sinking hours upon hours into upgrading your gear and equipment.
Here’s an idea: If you’re a newcomer, don’t look to the biggest dog in the pound and brand yourself the “killer” of said leader if you’ve got nothing to offer.
To that end, Killzone was dead from day one. Branded the “Halo-killer” and set up to be Sony’s answer to Bungie’s mighty FPS over at Camp Xbox, the reality was that Killzone was about as enjoyable to play as it was to look at. And considering its colour palette consisted exclusively of greys and browns, it certainly wasn’t a head-turner.
Sony clung onto the idea of Killzone being this formidable shooter for quite some time, only relinquishing developers Guerilla Games to make Horizon: Zero Dawn in 2011 – some seven years after the original released.
In that time, Killzone did about as much damage to Halo’s reputation as a few bullets do Superman.
5. Ryse: Son Of Rome
Call me old-school, but I can always go for a game that does a repetitive thing well. It’s why the original Assassin’s Creed wasn’t anywhere near as naff as tons of critics made out, and it’s why Ryse: Son of Rome was brilliant fun, despite being roundly shat upon by, well, everyone.
Granted, Microsoft did have it front and centre as one of the Xbox One’s launch titles, but you can’t help but feel like Ryse caught some of the unabashed hatred that was flowing towards Microsoft’s machine, simply by association.
People wanted to hate on Microsoft for royally ballsing up the sequel to the Xbox 360, and whilst I’m right there with them in that regard, Ryse: Son of Rome was a totally fun – and gorgeous-looking – carefree action romp.
4. Fallout 4 (BTW AWESOME GAME)
Hollywood is currently undergoing a massive “Fans vs. critics” cultural shift, but we gamers can do it better: Fallout 4.
Never have I seen such a diametrically opposed response than that of Bethesda’s latest ‘masterpiece’. Critics awarded it Game of the Year after months of positive press, Fallout-diehards naturally soaked it up for being more of the same, but the rest of us? That game was about as forgettable as 1920s VR technology (yes, that was a thing).
Bethesda did try to drop Fallout 4 with only a few months between “It’s real!” and “You can buy it!”, but it didn’t matter.
Fans and gamers alike had built the sequel up to the sorts of heights Half-Life 3 and Shenmue 3 currently has. There was no way it was going to (re)ignite the casual fans’ love for the franchise like Fallout 3 did, and whilst critics paraded it around as a “genuine triumph”, those who played were left thinking “But what about The Witcher 3?”
You have to look at the likes of Pokémon GO, which rather uniquely, released out of nowhere – literally, Niantic just turned on their severs overnight and with no trailers or hype whatsoever, and it dominated the public sphere for a solid month.
Maybe, maybe, just releasing your game without doing the hype-dance is better in the long run?
Because look at Destiny. It’s no surprise that Bungie dropped the ball when it came to content, but many players didn’t want to champion its exquisite combat or level design – they were too busy complaining it wasn’t ‘the next Halo’.
Perhaps if we approach games from the ground-up and discover their features, instead of going in with lofty expectations and the need to slice them off when things don’t match up, it’d be better for everyone?
Imagine not knowing much about Destiny other than ‘Bungie are making another shooter’. Would you still have been as p*ssed at launch?
2. The Elder Scrolls Online
While many suspected that The Elder Scrolls Online wasn’t going to be a WoW-killer, it was hoped that the game would introduce a whole new crowd to the magic of MMORPGs. Following the pattern of just about every major MMO in the last decade, Elder Scrolls Online had strong early sales, followed by a rapid decline in subscribers after the first couple of months.
The general consensus of The Elder Scrolls Online wasn’t that it was a bad game, just that it was pretty average. It also didn’t really make much sense that The Elder Scrolls series, known for its sandbox-style gameplay, action-packed combat and exploration, would be shoehorned into a theme park MMO, where all those attributes were nullified by the necessities of that genre.